PSNI Officers Hurt In Failed Blaze Rescue

The bravery of three PSNI officers who were injured while trying to rescue the victim of a west Belfast blaze overnight has just emerged.

All three were hurt and one officer, aged in his 20s, remains in hospital this morning.

The intense blaze broke out at a terrace house in Lenadoon Avenue in the Suffolk area at around 3am. Tragically, the 67-year-old man - just named as Joe Smith - died and his body was recovered in an upstairs bedroom.

It is understood the alarm was raised by a passer-by at about 3am and the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

A policeman and woman tried to break down the door of the house but were beaten back by heavy smoke.

Another police officer climbed a drainpipe and smashed a window but he was beaten back by the fire.
News Image
Six fire appliances were called to deal with what the Fire Service described as an intense fire, which engulfed the ground and first floor of the house.

This afternoon, Sinn Fein Councillor for West Belfast, Gerard O'Neill, has spoken of the community's shock at the death of an elderly man in a house fire in Lenadoon.

"People are extremely shocked. The man who died was a good neighbour, a good friend - people got on extremely well with him. Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends. The reaction locally is one of total shock," he said.

"The scene is one of complete devastation. It was a severe fire and there is smoke damage to two neighbours' homes," he continued, commending the emergency services: "The fire was intense and the police and firefighters worked hard to try and save Mr Smith.

"They were on the scene fairly quickly, dealing with a very difficult incident. It was a raging house fire and their professionalism ensured the fire did not spread. They should be commended for their actions."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 July 2001
THE Northern Ireland Fire Service is to receive the first ever award given by the province's devolved assembly. An illuminated scroll is to be presented to Chief Fire Officer John McClelland on Tuesday, by assembly speaker Lord Alderdice in tribute to the sacrifice made by fire fighters over the years.
05 October 2007
Fatal House Fire In Newtownards
A woman in her 30s has died in a fire at a house in Newtownards, Co. Down. The fire occurred at a house in Ilex Avenue at around 5.30pm and the woman is reported to have died at the scene. An investigation into the circumstances of the death is being conducted by police who have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
17 September 2014
Community Fire Station Opens In Omagh
Public Safety Minister Edwin Poots has opened a new £4.4m Community Fire Station in Omagh, County Tyrone. The new Community Fire Station & District Headquarters on the Killybrack Road includes onsite facilities for firefighter training and transport and engineering workshops.
02 April 2012
NI's Chief Fire Officer Announces His Retirement
The Chief Fire Officer for Northern Ireland, Peter Craig, has announced that he is to retire after over 35 years of distinguished Service. Peter Craig is one of the longest serving officers in Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and was appointed as Chief Fire Officer in February 2011, having been the acting Chief from July 2010.
20 July 2010
UK-Born Limerick Fireman Compensated
An English-born firefighter has been awarded €5,000 in compensation for discrimination by Limerick City Council. An Equality Tribunal heard Martin Mannering, now living in Cappamore, Co Limerick was left a note to leave his job because he was no longer "in Middlesbrough".